Cannabis reform is finally coming to the United States this year, in the form of legalized adult-use cannabis in California and progress towards medical cannabis legalization nationwide. Investors may want to keep a close eye on these trends as the market could reach over $50 billion in size by 2026, according to Cowen & Co. analysts, driven by the liberalization of cannabis policy and growing public demand.
States’ Rights Win Out in the USA
The Trump Administration has held opposing views on cannabis legalization. While the appointment of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the rescinding of the Cole Memo was certainly a negative development for the industry, President Trump recently indicated that he would support a new bipartisan bill sponsored by Sen. Cory Gardner and Sen. Elizabeth Warren to give marijuana growers and sellers better access to the formal financial system and ultimately return regulation to states rather than the federal government.
Libertarian Republicans, like Sen. Cory Gardner, tend to support cannabis legalization on states’ rights grounds, but even Republicans opposed to national legalization on moral grounds may be ready to change the mind along with voter sentiment. A late 2017 Gallup poll found that 64 percent of voters believe that cannabis should be legalized — including more than 50 percent of Republicans for the first time in history. And, President Trump is well known for being a politician that supports people over policy.
The new bill would close a key legal gap in the burgeoning industry. As it currently stands, the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment limits Department of Justice’s firepower, but marijuana remains federally illegal on the list of banned Controlled Substances. The new bill would make it illegal, rather than inconvenient, for the federal government to interfere in state marijuana industries, which would in turn make it easier for banks and other legitimate industries Continue Reading